Can You Give Cats COVID? Feline Infection Risks

can you give cats covid

People often wonder if cats can get COVID-19 from humans. Daniel C. DeSimone, M.D., notes the virus mainly targets humans. However, COVID-19 cases in pets, including cats and dogs, are linked to close contact with their owners.

The chance of animals passing COVID-19 back to humans is low. It’s still crucial to keep clean around pets. The CDC suggests avoiding close contact with pets if you’re infected. This helps lower any risks, following health advice closely.

Key Takeaways

  • COVID-19, while a human virus, can be transmitted to cats through close contact.
  • Risk of pets spreading the virus back to humans is low.
  • No evidence of transmission through pet skin, fur, or hair exists.
  • Infected individuals should maintain distance from their pets.
  • Proper hygiene and CDC guidelines help minimize risks.

Understanding COVID-19 and Its Transmission

COVID-19 appeared in 2019, causing a major global health crisis. It’s caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. Unlike other coronaviruses, it also affects different species, not just humans. This fact has raised worldwide concern.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It affects the respiratory system with symptoms that vary in severity. It’s unique because it can infect humans and animals, like cats, dogs, and mink. This has led to a lot of study on how it spreads.

Modes of Transmission

The main way COVID-19 spreads is from person to person. This happens through droplets when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can enter the mouths or noses of nearby people. They might also be breathed into the lungs.

Another way to get COVID-19 is by touching things that have the virus on them. Then, by touching your face, you can get infected.

  1. Direct respiratory droplets: The most common mode of COVID-19 transmission, occurring through close, often interpersonal contact.
  2. Contact with contaminated surfaces: Handling objects or surfaces bearing the virus followed by facial contact can result in transmission.
  3. Aerosolized particles: In specific conditions, smaller virus-laden particles may linger in the air, leading to possible infection.

Though it mostly spreads from person to person, COVID-19 can also move between species. There have been cases of humans passing the virus to animals like cats, dogs, and mink. This zoonotic transmission shows why we must be careful around pets and wildlife.

Can Cats Get COVID-19?

People are asking if cats can catch COVID-19 from people. Both pet and wild cats have gotten the virus after being near sick people.

Reports of Feline Infections

Cats really can get COVID-19. The Bronx Zoo found that its tigers and lions got sick. The American Veterinary Medical Association says house cats can show signs too. This shows that cats getting the virus is a true worry.

Symptoms in Infected Cats

Cats with the virus often have mild to medium breathing problems. They might also have stomach issues. Zoo Knoxville noted that cats don’t get as sick as people do.

To help cats with COVID, we must follow certain steps. Watch closely for any sickness signs. Quickly get them to a vet if they seem unwell. Doing this can lessen bad effects.

How COVID-19 Affects Pets

The pandemic makes us think more about our pets. Cats, dogs, and ferrets react differently to the virus. Some have mild symptoms or none. It’s key to know how it affects them to keep them healthy.

COVID-19 effects on pets

Clinical Signs in Pets

Pets might get mild breathing problems, cough, or feel out of breath. The CDC says they can catch the virus from sick people.

The AVMA and CDC tell us to take good care of our pets now. Watch pets closely if they’ve been near someone with COVID-19. If they show signs of being sick, see a vet fast.

To lower the risk for cats, keep everything clean. Avoid letting sick people near pets. Always talk to a vet if your pet seems unwell. Taking great care of them now is super important.

Symptom Commonality
Coughing Moderate
Shortness of Breath Low
Fever Rare
Fatigue Low

Routes of Transmission: Can You Give Cats COVID?

It’s very important to understand how COVID-19 spreads between humans and animals. This knowledge helps in lowering the risk during the pandemic. Specifically, knowing about human to animal and animal to human transmission is key for pet owners.

Human to Animal Transmission

Pets, like cats and dogs, can get COVID-19 from being close to infected humans. This human to animal transmission is seen in pets living in homes. Infected owners should keep away from their pets and stay clean to cut down the risk.

The CDC advises sick people not to touch, cuddle, or share food with pets. This helps stop the virus from spreading.

Animal to Human Transmission

There’s a small chance pets can pass COVID to humans. For instance, infected mink in the Netherlands did pass the virus to people. This shows the need for keeping an eye on pets but tells us pets usually don’t give the virus to humans.

Mostly, humans give COVID to other humans, not pets to people. So, being cautious with pets is wise but humans are the main spreaders of COVID-19.

Transmission Route Risk Level Preventive Measures
Human to Animal Transmission High (if close contact) Maintain distance, good hygiene, avoid direct contact
Animal to Human Transmission Low Regular monitoring, avoiding contact with symptomatic pets

The Risk of Cats Spreading COVID-19

There have been cases of COVID transmission among pets, especially cats. But, studies show the pet-to-human transmission risk is low. The CDC advises pet owners to keep pets away if sick. This lowers the chance of feline COVID risks. It keeps pets and people safe.

We need to follow good hygiene, like washing hands before and after pet contact. Doing this cuts the risk of COVID transmission among pets. It keeps everyone safer.

To help, here’s what to do if a pet owner gets COVID-19:

Action Description
Limit Contact Keep your distance from pets, avoid petting, snuggling, and sharing food.
Hygiene Practices Wash hands before and after any interaction with your pets.
Environmental Cleanliness Maintain a clean environment for your pets, regularly disinfecting surfaces they come into contact with.

With the right steps, the pet-to-human transmission risk from COVID-positive cats is low. This shows how key it is to look after pets well.

Study Findings on Feline COVID Transmission

Recent studies have shown how pets play a role in COVID spread. They focus on minks and cats in detail. These animals can carry and spread the virus.

feline covid transmission

Key Research Studies

The State Serum Institute in Denmark has led important studies. This COVID-19 research on pets shows cats can get and change the virus. These facts point to the need for ongoing research.

Implications of Findings

The findings of these studies are important. They show pets likely won’t pass the virus to people often. But, pets can change the virus. This calls for careful animal care.

The COVID-19 research on pets stresses evaluating vaccines and treatments. Because of these findings, taking care of pets well is key. Good hygiene and awareness are crucial for health.

Precautions to Protect Your Cat

Keeping pets safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is very important. It’s key to take the right steps to protect them. This helps stop the virus from spreading.

Preventative Measures

Feline covid precautions are vital for pet health. Make sure their areas are clean and you follow good hygiene. Clean surfaces they touch often, wash your hands well, and keep their living areas airy.

  • Regularly disinfect pet toys, bedding, and feeding areas.
  • Maintain routine hand hygiene before and after petting or feeding your cat.
  • Provide separate spaces for in-house animals to prevent cross-contamination.

Best Practices During Illness

If a pet owner catches COVID-19, they should follow special COVID-19 pet care protocols. Someone else in the house should care for the pets. If that’s not possible, wear masks and gloves and try not to get too close.

  1. Assign pet care to healthy family members.
  2. If necessary, use personal protective equipment like masks and gloves.
  3. Isolate symptomatic pets from other animals as a precaution.

Following these preventive measures for pet health is crucial. It keeps cats and other pets safe during the pandemic. Staying true to these practices helps stop COVID-19 from spreading too.

What to Do If You Have COVID-19

When you catch COVID-19, it’s key to keep apart to protect others, even your pets. This helps keep everyone safe. You and your pets can stay secure by following important steps.

Isolation Protocols

Keep away from all in your home, pets included, when you’re sick. If someone else can look after your pet, have them do it. If not, try to limit contact.

  1. Wear a face mask at all times around your pet.
  2. Practice diligent hand washing before and after handling pet supplies.
  3. Maintain sanitary conditions in the pet’s environment.

Caring for Your Pet While Sick

Taking care of pets when you’re sick needs care. You can still care for them safely. This reduces illness spread.

Important actions are:

  • Regularly watching pets for sickness.
  • Talking to vets for advice.
  • Clean and sanitize pet items.
Protocol Description
Isolation Separate yourself from household members and pets.
Face Masks Wear a mask when around pets.
Hand Hygiene Wash hands before and after interaction.
Veterinary Communication Maintain regular contact with your vet.

Follow these tips to keep pets safe during your illness. This way, you lessen virus spread to them.

Steps If Your Cat Shows Symptoms

If your cat shows signs like coughing or tiredness, act fast for their health. Watch for trouble breathing, coughing, sneezing, sluggishness, and stomach issues. Catching these early can help your cat recover better.

Identifying Symptoms

Cats often hide when they feel bad. Look for hard breathing, coughs, runny nose, fever, and less energy. If you see these, keep a close eye on your pet and note any health changes.

Seeking Veterinary Care

After spotting symptoms, quickly get vet help. Call your vet for advice, trying to avoid in-person visits to reduce virus risk. Don’t put masks on pets or use cleaners meant for people. Keep your cat in a cozy spot alone, listen to your vet, and watch how they’re doing.


What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral disease found by scientists in late 2019. This new kind of coronavirus is different from common cold viruses or those in animals before.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?

The virus spreads mainly from person to person. This happens through tiny droplets from coughs, sneezes, or talks. It can also move via touched surfaces.

Can cats get COVID-19?

Yes, cats, including house and wild ones, can catch COVID-19. They can get it from people who are sick.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 in cats?

Cats may show signs like coughing and sneezing. Some might also have stomach issues. They usually face mild to moderate sickness.

Can you give cats COVID-19?

Humans can indeed spread COVID-19 to cats. It’s best for sick individuals to stay away from pets and keep clean.

How does COVID-19 affect pets?

Pets like cats, dogs, and ferrets have gotten COVID-19. They mostly get mild symptoms or none at all. It’s rare for pets to get very sick.

Can pets spread COVID-19 to humans?

Pets passing COVID-19 to people is very unlikely. The main way it spreads is from one person to another.

Are there studies on feline COVID transmission?

Research has looked into how pets might carry and pass on COVID-19. The results show we should watch our pets closely to prevent the virus from spreading between species.

What precautions should I take to protect my cat?

To keep pets safe, keep their living area clean. Use masks and gloves when needed, and avoid close contact if you’re sick.

What should I do if I have COVID-19?

If you’re sick with COVID-19, stay away from people and pets. Use masks and clean your hands before and after you touch your pet or their things.

What steps should I take if my cat shows symptoms of COVID-19?

If your cat seems sick with COVID-19 symptoms, contact a vet right away. Try to avoid direct contact and keep an eye on your pet’s health.

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